Spalletti: ‘Juve proved themselves’

by | Dec 17, 2016 22:04

Luciano Spalletti defended his decision to start Gerson, but concedes Juventus “were stronger in individual duels” than Roma.

The top of the table showdown was decided by an early Gonzalo Higuain strike, opening up a seven-point gap.

“This gap does give Juventus the opportunity to control their advantage, so we’ll have to do incredibly well to get back up there,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

Luciano Spalletti defended his decision to start Gerson, but concedes Juventus “were stronger in individual duels” than Roma.

The top of the table showdown was decided by an early Gonzalo Higuain strike, opening up a seven-point gap.

“This gap does give Juventus the opportunity to control their advantage, so we’ll have to do incredibly well to get back up there,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

Was starting Gerson, who had barely featured in Serie A, an error in such a massive game?

“Those who don’t have the right mentality can say that. Those who don’t know what they’re talking about can say that. The early yellow card affected him, he was not there to act like Mohamed Salah, but to hold out against the physical strength of Juventus and Alex Sandro. I think he did it pretty well.

“Salah was out for two weeks and could not have played 90 minutes. After the initial impact of the game, we evened things out and got back into it, but were unable to get the equalising goal.

“Despite the final siege, Roma emerge beaten and it all becomes more difficult. Juve were stronger than us in the individual duels and proved their strength. I always tell Roma to prove themselves on the pitch, not declare their ambition, and tonight Juve proved themselves.

“I above all liked the second half performance, when we went nipping at their ankles and pressed them high. I liked us then, but we did it after Juventus had already taken the lead, so clearly had less to lose. We should’ve had the same attitude in the first 10 minutes, when Juve troubled us with their strength and physicality.

“Unfortunately we weren’t clinical enough in our finishing. At times you go through a period where you don’t finish your chances, but I am not concerned because we’ve been among the most prolific sides in Serie A this season.”

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